No Indiana resident wants to think about what will happen when they die, but estate planning is a necessary part of getting older. Estate planning also ensures that your children are taken care of after you’re gone and won’t have to spend months sorting through your stuff, wondering what you would have wanted. If you’ve never set up an estate plan before, it can be a daunting task, so here are some basic tools to consider.
What tools are out there for estate planning?
Most people consider writing a will to be the beginning and end of the estate planning process. However, in reality, that’s only one option for estate planning that exists.
Many people want more control over how the money and assets are distributed, or they want more privacy. That’s why they look into trusts.
Why would you want a trust?
A last will and testament is the traditional way of estate planning. However, wills can be contested in probate court by unhappy family members or even a member of the public.
If you have a lot of assets or more complex instructions that you want to leave behind, you might want something more concrete. Different types of trust give you different types of control and advantages, including:
- Avoiding probate court and estate taxes
- Allowing room for changes right up until your death
- Giving directions that will last for years to come
Many people look into trusts if they want the money to be given out to beneficiaries slowly. Giving away assets or money in a last will and testament is a one-time transfer that could end up costing your family members in taxes.
Which is right for you?
You can use a combination of estate planning tools based on what’s right for you at the time. As long as you frequently update your estate plan to ensure it still represents your wishes, you can use whatever combination of tools you like.